Thursday, October 2, 2008
A new program rolled out by HUD yesterday could help more homeowners avoid foreclosure. Under the program, the lender of an existing subprime mortgage forgives part of the debt as if it's a short sale, and the balance is rolled into a fixed-rate FHA mortgage.
FLORIDA REAL ESTATE
Sagging property values and soaring mortgage payments triggered in part by adjustable interest rates and increasing taxes have impacted Florida's housing sector long before the debate over a federal bailout of U.S. financial institutions. The state experienced a homebuilding boom earlier this decade, according to UF professor and research economist David Denslow. "The homeownership rate here goes up from 66 percent to 72 percent between 2000 and 2006 - that's a huge change," he says.
CITIZENS PROPERTY INSURANCE
In the wake of criticism by key lawmakers, the state-backed property and casualty insurer, Citizens Property Insurance Corp., is backing off plans to seek a new, larger office complex that once included a gymnasium, cafeteria and concierge service.
Between 2000 and 2007, many lenders offered homebuyers without a 20 percent downpayment several ways to get a house without mortgage insurance, such as so-called "piggyback" loans. "The loans that are in the most trouble are the loans that circumvented mortgage insurance," says Jeff Lubar, spokesman for the Mortgage Insurance Cos. of America.
If the government follows through with its bailout plan, auctioneers are hoping to see an eventual boom in business. That's what happened in the 1980s after shopping centers and apartment buildings of failed savings and loans went on the auction block after being seized by the government.
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